Creating a more efficient SOX process


  • Instead of having all SOX responsibilities fall on the desks of internal audit team members, this mineral company wanted to have process and control owners make narrative updates themselves—with the team still testing controls.
  • The team used AlignAlytics for its SOX process as a document retention tool.
  • The company noticed redundant work being done across teams since changes weren't being made directly in the system. The team spent a lot of time putting documentation in the system more than once.
  • The company’s SEC team was in the process of purchasing Wdesk and invited the internal audit team to the Wdesk demonstration.
  • The demonstration showed Wdesk to be more efficient than internal audit's current process.
  • Getting set up in Wdesk was simple. Workiva customer service provided regular communication and updates while helping with the implementation. “I never felt like there was a time I didn’t know what was going on or what was next. I knew what I had to do or what was being done,” says the internal audit manager.

Why Wdesk works for the internal audit team

  • Process owners and control owners can attach their own supporting documentation directly to where the team is testing, which helps streamline the PBC process for the team because they no longer have to field emails with supporting attachments.
  • “One of the biggest things for me was the linking. We have one source of truth; we are updating everything in one place,” the internal audit manager says.
  • External auditors can easily access Wdesk through the cloud themselves rather than having the team send supporting documentation or input data for them.
  • Process owners can clearly see the status and progress of SOX testing through the company’s custom dashboards.

The team's results

  • The manager says the audit committee presentations are much less stressful for her because she is able to create them using a Wdesk dashboard as opposed to AlignAlytics, Excel®, and PowerPoint® and risking not having the most current data.
  • Instead of spending a lot of time on the PBC process, internal audit can focus the saved time on more on-site audits and operational audits.
  • Internal audit team members believe that working with a more efficient solution will help them meet their goal of spending only 50–60 percent of their time on SOX rather than the almost 70 percent that was previously dedicated to their SOX process.

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